Ten birders set off along Hawston View Road for a most productive and pleasant drive. The Overberg was at its best  −  rolling green hills and fields of bright yellow canola. We made a number of stops along the road and were rewarded by Karoo Scrub-Robin chasing each other, and some very energetic and loud Cape Clapper Larks. After coffee and rusks at the little bridge over the Bot River, we traveled along the van der Stel Pass for more good sightings, including a Booted Eagle, and flying Secretary Bird. Oh, and a pride of lions. Yes, really!

We had a brief stop at Beaumont farm, but by then the wind was producing some very strange hairstyles among our intrepid group and we decided to retreat gracefully and drive back home.

The list of bird species seen or heard by all, or some, in the group:

Bar-throated Apalis, Red Bishop, Yellow Bishop, Cape Bulbul, Cape Bunting, Denham’s Bustard, Jackal Buzzard, Brimstone Canary, Cape Canary, Yellow Canary, Cloud Cisticola, Levaillant’s Cisticola, Grey-backed Cisticola, Blue Crane, Cape Crow, Pied Crow, Klaas’s Cuckoo. 

Cape Turtle Dove, Laughing Dove, Yellow-billed Duck, Fork-tailed Drongo, Cattle Egret, Little Egret,

African Fish Eagle, Booted Eagle, Dusky Flycatcher, Fiscal Flycatcher, Common Fiscal, Egyptian Goose, Spur-winged Goose, Little Grebe, Helmeted Guineafowl, Kelp Gull.

Black-headed Heron, African Hoopoe, Hadeda Ibis, Sacred Ibis, Yellow-billed Kite, Red-capped Lark, Cape Clapper Lark, Crowned Lapwing, Cape Longclaw, Speckled Mousebird, African Pipit, Karoo Prinia, White-necked Raven, Cape Robin-Chat, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Cape Sparrow, Common Starling, Streaky-headed Seedeater, Malachite Sunbird, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Barn Swallow, White-throated Swallow, Secretary Bird.

Cape Weaver, Masked Weaver, Common Waxbill, Swee Waxbill, Capped Wheatear, Cape Wagtail, Cape White-eye, Little Rush Warbler.

TOTAL 64   

Submitted by Barbara Swart

PLUS – Seen by Ed Meyers group on the Steenbras Road I think its called – Blue Crane, Pied Starling, Greater Striped Swallow, Red Capped lark and Black Headed Heron

Blown Away Birding!!


Our walk at Rooi Els this morning was attended by 17 keen birders, but unfortunately the wind had us all on the ropes.  It was also very cold, so we did not see many birds.  Somewhat disappointed, we headed to Stony Point to try our luck with the Cormorants, but it only got worse!  It was really hard to hold binoculars steady and so we battled to identify the birds.  Off to Harold Porter we traipsed.

Bliss!  When we arrived there was no wind at all and we enjoyed our coffee and snacks in the warm sunshine, much relieved to have gotten away from the icy gale.  Our walk in the Gardens, however, was not very productive, and we failed to find the White-fronted Bee-Eaters that have recently attracted so much attention.

Our final list for the morning, which included a few species picked up in Kleinmond on the way back included 39 species. They were:

Cape Bulbul;  Cape Bunting;  Jackal Buzzard;  Familiar Chat;  Bank Cormorant;  Cape Cormorant;  White-breasted Cormorant;  Klaas’s Cuckoo;  African Darter;  Cape Turtle Dove;  Rock Dove;  Little Egret;  Fiscal Flycatcher;  Cape Gannet;  Egyptian Goose;  Cape Grassbird;  Sombre Greenbul;  Hartlaub’s Gull;  Kelp Gull;  Purple Heron;  African Sacred Ibis;  Hadeda Ibis;  Rock Martin;  Common Moorhen;  Speckled Mousebird;  African Penguin;  Speckled Pigeon;  Karoo Prinia;  White-necked Raven;  Cape Spurfowl;  Red-winged Starling;  Cape Sugarbird;  Malachite Sunbird;  Orange-breasted Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Cape Rock Thrush;  Olive Thrush;  Cape Wagtail;  Cape White-Eye.


Outing to Rooi Els and Harold Porter


Ronnie will be leading this outing.  We will meet at the Onrus Trading Post at 7:30 am on Thursday to arrange transport.  Bring along some thing to eat and drink.  We should be home by lunch time.  If you are a member of the National Botanical Society, bring your card for Harold Porter, otherwise you will need to pay an entry fee.


Harold Porter Reserve

Greyton Outing


Lester writes,

“We could not have asked for better weather. 17 club members arrived in Greyton with the temperature a chilly 5 degrees but it warmed up quickly to 18 degrees with clear skies and it remained almost windless for most of the day.

However, the birds were hiding and there was a distinct lack of birds calling. In the two areas that we birded we only managed a small list (I recorded 34 species). Probably the best birds included a covey of Grey-winged Francolin that were calling loudly, but remained out of sight, a calling Long billed Pipit and a few Cape Clapper Larks seen by a few.

The walk along the trail in the Greyton Nature Reserve was particularly scenic with Proteas in flower throughout the area and attendant Cape Sugar Birds and Orange-breasted Sunbirds.  A very enjoyable walk but again not many species seen!”

Photos – Ronnie

Outing to Greyton


Hermanus Bird Club will be visiting the Greyton area on Thursday 4th July 2019. We will meet at the OK Minimark (Onrus) to consolidate transport and to communicate the meeting place in Greyton. (Departure time from the OK is 07:30 am). Travel time to Greyton should be approximately 1 Hour (75 Km).

The plan is to bird a drainage line / rocky hill side on the South Eastern side of Greyton (approximately 1 to 2 Km relatively easy walking) and then move over to the Greyton Nature reserve to bird the fynbos area within the reserve (we will walk a short trail here of around 1.5 Km). Please bring your own picnic Lunch and refreshments.

 Contact no’ 078 593 8977 (Lester)

Outing to Jessie Walton’s Farm


This morning’s outing to Jessie’s was attended by 12 members of the club, led by Lester.  Jessie joined us for our visit to the dams and her wonderful new hide.  The weather started off cold and wet, but the rain fell whilst we were in the shelter of the hide and then it cleared up, so we had a fine morning, proceeding to her garden and then on to the log cabin area.

The birds were shy, perhaps because of the cold, but we saw 50 species, with the best sightings being the garden birds, dominated by magnificent displays of Swee Waxbills. Regrettably, we did not see the Little Bittern, and we were once again confused by the hybrid Buzzard that frequents the area.

Walk at Jessie Walton’s Farm



African Darter with catch at Jessie’s dam

Thursday 6th June we will be visiting Jessie Walton’s farm in the Elgin valley. We will visit a series of ponds on the farm (one with a large Bird Hide) and the surrounding paths. After this we will make our way to the plant nursery area that has a nice range of Garden birds, and then finish at their lodge which overlooks a dam, where we can have our coffee and ‘sandwiches’ on the veranda.

Specials in the area include Little Bittern in the ponds, White-faced and White-backed Duck, and a variety of other water birds. There is also a good chance of seeing the ‘Mystery Buzzard ’ which could still turn out to be a new species. A Squacco Heron has been hanging around the dam below the lodge – uncommon in the Western Cape.

We will meet and depart from the Onrus Trading Post on Thursday 6th June at 07:30am., where we can consolidate transport and travel together to the farm. Please bring you own refreshments / picnic lunch.



Vrolijkheid Reserve


Our monthly walk was at Vrolijkheid Reserve near to McGregor, yesterday morning.  As we drove from Hermanus, we were worried about the weather as there was a gale blowing when we approached Villiersdorp, but by the time we arrived at Vrolijkheid, we had a perfect warm clear day.

We were all thrilled by the variety of Karoo birds, starting off with Fairy Flycatchers as we set out from the picnic site.  The walk to the dams was productive with Chestnut-vented Tit-Babblers, Red-faced Mousebirds, Acacia Pied Barbets and many more. A real coup was hearing and seeing Namaqua Warblers.  Then, on the way back we saw Agulhas Long-billed Lark, a useful addition to our Challenge lists.

There were 17 members present, a good turn out considering we had to drive a total of over 300 kms. Some did, however, make more than a day of the outing and spent the preceding night in McGregor, thereby relieving themselves of the early morning start.

We recorded 92 species in and around the Reserve – a good total, achieved before the afternoon wind picked up and rather ruined the rest of the day as far as birding was concerned.

Bar-throated Apalis;  Acacia Pied Barbet;  Yellow Bishop;  Bokmakerie;  Southern Boubou;  Cape Bulbul;  Cape Bunting;  Denham’s Bustard;   Jackal Buzzard;  Cape Canary;  White-throated Canary;  Yellow Canary;  Ant-eating Chat;  Familiar Chat;  Karoo Chat;  Sickle-winged Chat;  Grey-backed Cisticola;  Levaillant’s Cisticola;  Red-knobbed Coot;  Reed Cormorant;  White-breasted Cormorant;  Blue Crane;  Long-billed Crombec;  Cape Crow;  Pied Crow;  African Darter;  Cape Turtle Dove;  Laughing Dove;   Namaqua Dove;  Red-eyed Dove;  African Black Duck;  Yellow-billed Duck;  African Fish Eagle;  Western Cattle Egret;  Common Fiscal;  Fairy Flycatcher;  Fiscal Flycatcher;  Egyptian Goose;  Spur-winged Goose;  Pale Chanting Goshawk;  Little Grebe;  Sombre Greenbul;  Helmeted Guineafowl;  Hamerkop;  African Hoopoe;  Black-headed Heron;  African Sacred Ibis;   Hadeda Ibis;  Rock Kestrel;  Black-shouldered Kite;  Blacksmith Lapwing;  Crowned Lapwing;  Agulhas Long-billed Lark;  Large-billed Lark;  Banded Martin;  Brown-throated Martin;  Rock Martin;  Common Moorhen;  Red-faced Mousebird;  Speckled Mousebird;  White-backed Mousebird;  Long-billed Pipit;  Common Ringed Plover;  Three-banded Plover;   Karoo Prinia;  White-necked Raven;  Karoo Scrub Robin;  Cape Robin-Chat;  South African Shellduck;  Cape Sparrow;  House Sparrow;  Southern Grey-headed Sparrow;  Cape Spurfowl;  Common Starling;  Pied Starling;  Red-winged Starling;  Black-winged Stilt;  African Stonechat;  Malachite Sunbird;  Southern Double-collared Sunbird;  Southern Tchagra;  Red-billed Teal;  Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler;  Layard’s Tit-Babbler;  Cape Wagtail;  Lesser Swamp Warbler;  Little Rush Warbler;  Namaqua Warbler;  Common Waxbill;  Cape Weaver;  Southern Masked Weaver.

Outing to Vrolijkheid Reserve


There will be a full day outing to Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve on 2nd May 2019.

Meet at the Onrus Trading Post at 06:30 (we need to get away early as it is about a 2 hour drive).

We will spend 3 to 4 hours birding the Reserve. There is a lovely picnic site near the entrance so bring whatever you need to enhance your experience!!

Birds: The special birds to look out for: Fairy Flycatcher, Grey Tit, Layards Tit-babler, Rufous-eared Warbler, Namaqua Warbler, Aghulas Long-billed Lark, Karoo Korhaan, Long-billed Crombec and many others!

There are two options to return to Hermanus (Each party to decide for themselves):

Go back via Robertson, Worcester, Villiersdorp (ie returning the way we arrived)

Take the back (dirt) roads to the R317 and on to Stormsvlei, and Riviersonderend.

Both options have potentially good birding opportunities along the way.

Directions from Hermanus: (Probably a good idea to check out the route on google maps!)

Take the R43 to Bot River, then N2 towards Caledon for a few Km, then turn left off the N2 onto the R43 towards Villiersdorp, Turn right at the ‘T’ and continue through Villiersdorp on the R43 to Worcester and before reaching Worcester turn right onto the Road sign posted to Robertson and the R60, and then turn right onto the R60 towards Robertson. Once in Robertson take the turn off towards Mcgregor and the Reserve will be on the left hand side. Overall distance is about 160 Km.

Contact: Lester van Groeningen 078 593 8977